Story on Preston Zimmerman
In 2012, I wrote a 3000-word profile of Preston Zimmerman for the now-defunct XI Quarterly. Preston was an interesting guy. He was one of the top youth soccer players in his generation, but his career had taken a series of strange turns. At 23, he wasn't full of regret, but he wasn't content either. The story I wrote was a look at the thin margins at the top, and what it's like when a player realizes achieving his childhood dream hasn't made him happy. Not long after the story was published, Preston retired, walking away from professional soccer despite several lucrative offers to keep playing.
Preston recently told me all about his decision to retire, and Deadspin was nice enough to run an updated version of my original story. You can read The Making and Unmaking of Preston Zimmerman, American Soccer Player here.
Photos by Tom Sekula.